Good luck, Boys!
Danny Etling headed out of God's Country quite smartly when it looked like he'd be buried under a few QBs on the depth chart...Austin Appleby officially joined him this evening, ending speculation that he'd be going elsewhere for his final season of eligibility. Appleby will be going to Gainesville to play for the University of Florida next season and will be eligible immediately. A ton of Purdue fans have maligned these two as part of the problem with Purdue's offense...but they were NEVER THE ISSUE. They weren't put into positions to succeed, and if some of the rumors that I've heard from people close to the program are true, they weren't always treated great in the process of losing their starting jobs.
I'm not going to expound upon that, because I don't really have permission from my pals to do so...and I wasn't there. But if it's true, for their sake, I'm glad they left. Ifthey were treated great the whole time while at Purdue and they still left because they wanted a shot at a greater impact on a bigger stage, I'm also happy for them.
I like both of these guys...think they're damned talented and believe they will both start at some point in the season in the SEC next season. Kinda funny, huh- The SEC braintrusts malign the Big Ten as being untalented, yet two QBs from a program at the bottom of the weak, slow, untalented B1G have been given scholarships in the hope to band-aide two programs into a successful season.
Here's the deal: Four-star, Elite 11 QBs don't grow on trees. As Purdue fans, we seem to think they're plentiful; that's false. Purdue has lost two talented QBs in a calendar year to transfer; that's true. Were they underutilized? Sure. Were they given the best tools to succeed? Hell no. While the circumstances aren't the same for these two, they both were victims of grasping at straws in the hopes for change. Like an old guy who is sick of his wife, Purdue's offense keeps trading in for a younger model, but keeps finding the same results.
Am I still in support of Purdue's coaches? Yes. I want them to win as badly as I have the last few years...but I'm a bit sobered up as I've watched failure on the field, a trickle of recruiting success and almost no on-field success. Am I excited about Blough and Sindelar? Yes! I think they're also very talented...but they're younger. One thing Purdue had with Appleby, was more experience at starting QB than they'd had since Curtis Painter*. One bad thing about Appleby is that he had been a part of the Shoop/Hazell system that simply was not potent at all for a long time.
It's been a long season of tumult and turnover in Purdue's offensive backfield...a bit of stability would be a sign of good things for the program. Hopefully Hazell, Malone and company can figure some things out.
Until then, good luck to Austin Appleby and Danny Etling. Get 'em, boys!!
*Addendum: I'm looking at this through the prism that he contended for the started job for four seasons, started games in three of those...but I think Elliott actually started two more games than Appleby (12 v. 10)